The Ballina Mayor says great hopes are pinned on this week’s efforts to tag great white sharks.
The Department of Primary Industries together with the CSIRO will try to catch and attach monitors to the large sharks lurking off the far north coast.
David Wright said the $1,000 tags will allow authorities to monitor the sharks for up to 10 years.
He said the mystery of what was making the area so attractive to sharks needed to be solved.
“There must be a reason why they’re so close,” Cr Wright said.
“These sharks aren’t hundreds of metres out.
“The DPI brought their big vessel The Swan up last week and they were looking half a kilometre out.
“They saw nothing because the sharks are not out there, or there might be some out there, but the others are right in on the rocks or right in on the beaches in the breakers.
“And that’s virtually unheard of.
“Maybe one shark, but to have all these sharks is a really big problem.
“They’ll try to capture the shark, turn it upside down and put these tags into its tummy and then release the shark and they’ll be able to follow that for up to 10 years with satellites and things like that.
“But they’ve never done anything like this before these guys.
“They’ve done two-and-a-half-metre ones and two-metre ones down near Newcastle, but I think this will be a learning curve for everybody.”